Weekly Vocab Builder: Getting Canned

It’s happened to most of us at one time or another: your company no longer wants you to work for it and it terminates you. But did you ever notice how many different words we use to avoid saying it straight out? This week’s list explores some euphamisms that are meant to soften the blow. They all mean the same thing, though: you’re fired.

  • Reduction in workforce. The XYZ Co. will make a reduction in its workforce during the first quarter.
  • Right-sized. Gargantuan Real Estate Pros right-sized its workforce to balance its budget.
  • Transitioned employee. I became a transitioned employee of Silly Services Inc. when the HR rep handed me my things in a box and walked me to the door. 
  • Heave-ho. Thomas got the old heave-ho from Newsy Newspapers when he was caught napping on the job.  
  • Pink slip. Sandy was pink-slipped from her job just before Christmas.

You can find even more euphamisms on my Wordnik list. Share your favorites in the comments below or on my Wordnik list. And follow me on Twitter to get the Vocab Builder every Monday through Friday.

About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug...hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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